No such thing as a fresh start

Writer Oliver Burkeman in an issue of his newsletter, The Imperfectionist:

The unspoken hope is that you won’t just change a few things for the better, but make a total break with the past. You’ll reboot your life, leave disorganization and procrastination behind you once and for all, and do everything differently from now on.

As you’re presumably aware, this is a terrible mindset for actually making lasting changes. What you need, instead, are tiny goals and a commitment to incremental progress (“small wins“), plus a willingness to encounter failure after failure as you stumble toward improvement. To put it another way: fresh-startism is a form of perfectionism, and as with all forms of perfectionism, the solution is to stop being such a perfectionist – to resign yourself to the fact that things probably won’t unfold as flawlessly as you’d hoped.